Our last visit to Aira Force Waterfall near Ullswater in the Lake District was not very successful photo wise….as it was both tipping it down with rain and howling a gale! Happily on our return yesterday, the weather was a lot kinder. We decided to park in the lake shore village of Glenridding and take the steamer the short 20 minute journey to the newly erected Aira Force Pier. The steamers themselves have been pleasure cruising along and around Ullswater for 150 years, and weather permitting , operate 363 days of the year.
We bought return tickets from Glenridding Pier House for £8 each and sat and waited with a nice warming brew. There is a coffee shop and gift shop in the pier house as well as lots of local information. Presently our steamer, The Lady Dorothy , arrived to take us to Aira Force.
We sat out on deck and admired the passing scenery. Ullswater is the Lake District’s second largest lake and the daffodils that grow on the bank at Glencoyne Bay are said to have inspired Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’. The mighty Helvellyn mountain range provided a magnificent backdrop and the waters were tranquil and deep.
Aira Force Waterfall tumbles a lengthy 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through pretty woodland. There are wooden walkways, gravel footpaths and ornate stone bridges. We looked out for the many different trees on the tree trail and Hugo enjoyed dipping in and out of the babbling brook. 🙂
The name Aira comes from the Old Norse ‘ river at the gravel bank’ and Force is a derivation of the Old Norse word ‘ fors’ meaning Waterfall. So Aira Force is apparently a waterfall on the gravel-bank river. Head further into the woodland to discover the less dramatic High Force.
There is a National Trust shop and tea room on site. We had a spot of lunch and another walk before heading back to catch the steamer. 🙂
Hi its Sunday yet again so time for a quick round up of the last 7 days via a Sunday Sevens post. This last week I’ve read two really good books ! I sound surprised because I’ve read a few meh ones recently , so it’s great to find a couple of cracking reads. Firstly The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Wareis a modern day Agatha Christie set on a boutique cruise with plenty of twists and turns. ‘Lo Blacklock’ is a journalist who thinks she’s witnessed a murder , a woman thrown overboard in the dead of night. But nobody seems to have heard of the victim. Paranoia and suspicion engulf Lo and make this’ Who Done It’ an absorbing and scary thriller. Secondly, a just as absorbing but true life tale is The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen. This is Amanda’s own story about how as a youngster she read the James Herriot country vet books and dreamed of working on a hill farm with her own flock of sheep. And amazingly through a lot of hard work and determination she has ended up doing just that. As well as a flock of sheep she has a husband, 8 children and lives and works on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. An inspirational and often funny read, I loved it. 🙂
As well as having my nose in a book this week, I have been using up some holidays and had a couple of days off work. On Thursday my friend Lisa and I had a fun afternoon hanging out in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. She showed me some great independent shops in this creative area of the city and we also had a really tasty lunch at Oak Street Cafe Bar in the Craft & Design Centre. And I got to cross something off my 25 Before 45 Bucket List ! I had booked us a slot in Manchester’s only Cat Cafe, very originally called Cat Cafe which is situated on High Street in the Northern Quarter. Imagine coffee, cake and cats all in one spacious area , adorned with comfy sofas, cushions and cat toys. I will blog about it sooooon. 🙂
On Friday Wil, Hugo and I went to visit family in The Lake District. My family live not far from Ullswater so for some reason Wil , my brother and I thought it would be a good idea to go and check out Aira Force , a waterfall not far from the lake. The problem was, it was an incredibly rainy and windy day , which always annoys me as I can’t take any photos with the rain blowing in my face. We had to agree though that the force looked amazing in the weather and we will definitely have to go back on a much drier day.
Last Sunday it was raining too but not as badly ( Hurrah ! ) so we were tourists in our own town and took The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail around Brungerley Park. Just in case you missed my post , you can check it out here 🙂
All in all a pretty good week. What did you get up to ?
What marvelous hot and sunny weather we are experiencing lately! The perfect weather for a waterfall walk followed by a climb up an amphitheatre shaped cliff formation, made from limestone? Of course. 🙂 We set off early on Sunday morning and crossed over the border to the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales and headed for the pretty village of Malham. It was before 9am as we walked up through the village towards Gordale Scar and found the footpath sign for Janet’s Foss. Janet’s Foss is the enchanting name of a waterfall that carries Gordale Beck into a plunge pool below. It’s a pretty enchanting spot as well.
Janet’s Foss is named after a Fairy Queen called Janet ( or Jennet) who apparently lives in a cave behind the waterfall. Foss is a Scandinavian name for Waterfall. It is a truly beautiful tranquil place, but we did not have it to ourselves for long. Soon Hugo was joined by a very vocal little staffie called Lill and they enjoyed dashing about and jumping in and out of the water. In days gone by the pool was a meeting place for the villagers at the annual ‘Sheep Dipping’ day. It certainly looks very inviting. ;).
We reluctantly left this local beauty spot and followed the path through the woods, where wild garlic bloomed in abundance and the busy songs of dippers and wrens guided us to the buttercup meadows beyond. No wonder Charles Kingsley took inspiration from the area for his children’s novel ‘The Water Babies’. I could almost imagine fairy folk fluttering amongst the trees.
Before we left I noticed several of these ‘Book Nests’ in the branches. If we had walked to Janet’s Foss from the Smithy in the village, we would have seen the sign below, explaining all, before entering the woods. The Bee Library is a collection of bee-themed books converted into nests for wild or solitary bees, installed in ash trees. What an intriguing idea…..
Once back in Malham it was still only mid morning. We decided to take advantage of the sunshine and enjoy a coffee , sat outside The Listers Arms. I was amused to find a pub bearing my family name. Yes I was christened a Lister. And yes I like making lists. 🙂
After our coffees we decided to walk to Malham Cove. By this time the area was getting busier and lots of other folk had the same idea. It was also getting quite hot. Luckily Gordale Beck was always on our right if any of us needed to take a dip! And we took plenty of water with us.
The farmland on the way to the cove was rocky and covered in sunbathing cows. 🙂
Malham Cove is a curved limestone formation just North of the village. It was formed by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. It’s wide rock face makes it popular with climbers. Luckily for those of us not inclined to hang around in mid air, there are jaggedy stone steps to struggle up instead. 😉 Something I did not know about Malham Cove, is that it is actually home to a pair of Peregrine Falcons and their two juvenile chicks. The RSPB are at the Cove every Saturday until 31st July, with their telescopes trained on the birds. We were very honored indeed to catch a glimpse of this majestic Falcon family.
I’m not sure how many steps there are to the top of Malham Cove, but I think I heard some incredibly fast sprinting child count to 400. I could be wrong ,I was so busy hyperventilating my hearing may have been impaired! But once at the top it is really worth it. There are far reaching views of the dale below and a fantastic limestone pavement running across the top. Infact the limestone pavement appeared in the film ‘Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one)’, as one of the places Harry and Hermione travelled to.
The heat was pretty intense by this point so we headed back down to the bottom where Hugo especially was glad of a paddle in the stream. We then walked back to the village and enjoyed some lunch in one of the cafes there.
All in all we had a fun morning in Malham. Have you ever been?
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